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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines
And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy

April 1, 2010

It seems to me that there is more than the usual quota of disturbing news in the headlines:

“Projections of deficit cut met with skepticism.” 

“National sales tax seems inevitable.”  (A conservative columnist’s opinion.)

“Agencies Suspect Iran Is Planning New Atomic Sites.” 

“OPS pupils may learn 3 more is a crowd.”

“Omaha officials object to last-minute gun amendment.”

And then, the most disturbing—frightening may not be too strong a word—headline of all:  “Growing debt could cost the U.S. its AAA rating.”

Why the scariest headline of all?  Because what we are able to do as a nation, both at home and abroad, depends on fiscal stability and credibility.  As The New York Times put it, a downgrading of AAA-rated U.S. Treasury bonds by investment rating services “would affect more than American pride.”  The bigger risk would be to the country’s ability to keep borrowing money in extremely favorable terms and therefore to keep spending more money than it takes in from tax revenues.”


A recent World-Herald editorial quoted the headline and added this wise observation:  “Yet the White House and the Congressional majority have chosen to approve a massive health care program that threatens to worsen the federal government’s fiscal condition in a severe way. 

“The claims by President Barack Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders that the program will be ‘deficit neutral’ trample the notion of truth in advertising and illustrate the rampant over-promising by supporters of the legislation.”

$1.85 Trillion Deficit In Obama’s First Year

Columnist Amity Shlaes of Bloomberg News put it this way:  “Everyone knows the bill will widen deficits over time…as Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote last summer, the point of the proposal ‘was never to generate savings over the next decade.’”

Congressional Budget Office figures show that the annual deficits increased from a peak of about $400 million in George W. Bush’s last year in the office to something like $1.85 trillion in Obama’s first year in office in 2009 and are projected to total in the neighborhood of $1.2 trillion this fiscal year, Obama’s second year in office.

No wonder the headlines warn of the possible disaster of America losing its AAA credit rating and its status as the safest bond market in the world for investors to put their money into.

It is not only, of course, in the area of predictable health care deficits that America faces fiscal challenge if not a crisis.  The Obama administration, unchecked by the Congress, continues to spend money we don’t have, much of it on projects of questionable merit.  Recent close-to-home examples:

The Environmental Protection Agency, primarily funded by federal dollars, continues to spend a good many millions annually to replace lead-tainted yards in a growing area in the eastern part of Omaha, despite evidence that the most dangerous threat to lead poisoning in children—a threat that has been greatly exaggerated, in my opinion—is from lead-based paint in the interior of older houses.

Another close-to-home example:  The Omaha Public School district is among those across the country which have been challenged to find new ways to spend money to improve education to win a “Race to the Top” effort to improve the nation’s schools according to Obama’s formula. 

Bottom Line: Balance The Budget Or Risk Bankruptcy

Omaha, we are told, lags in that race because of a lack of determination to adopt operating policies to fit Obama’s policies, which include smaller class sizes, meeting specific educational achievement goals, replacing teachers whose pupils don’t meet those goals—all this against a background of Obama’s advocacy of “intervention” ranging from replacing the school’s principal and firing half the staff to closing the school and reopening it as a “charter school.” 

The incentive for what might be called “ObamaEd” is millions of dollars in four-year grants from a $4.3 billion “Race to the Top” fund—again, a promise of money which the federal government doesn’t have.  And what would happen after four-years?   A further funding with money that the federal government won’t have or shifting responsibility to the local school district to continue “Race to the Top” programs with local tax dollars?

Interestingly, if not ironically, at the time Nebraska was being told by the Obama administration that it doesn’t have plans to do what Obama wants done to improve educational achievement, the Nebraska Legislature was advancing a bill that would establish a special fund to help school districts create performance-based pay patterns to supplement regular teacher salaries. 

LB1014 would earmark as much as $10 million a year to help school districts offer performance-based pay programs starting in 2016.

My bottom line:

This nation needs a national resolve—starting in the White House and in Congress—to take significant annual steps to reduce the deficit by living within our fiscal means and work back to a national fiscal policy of responsibility which produces not deficits but a balanced budget, as was the case as recently as 2000 and 2001.

We should be willing to restrain or reduce spending and, if necessary, increase taxes to reach that goal.

The alternative is to go, in effect, bankrupt.

* * *

Tell Iran: Shut Down Nuclear Sites
Or We Will Do It For You

Now as to those other disturbing headlines: 

The news that Iran may be planning atomic sites prompts this reaction:  The time is at hand when instead of talking economic sanctions and trying to negotiate with that nut cake who is Iran’s president and the ayatollahs and the professional military leadership which really runs the country, we should talk plain language that goes something like this:

“If you don’t stop developing nuclear weapon capability, subject to our verification on-site that you have stopped, we are going to take military action to see that those nuclear developing sites are neutralized, period.  You simply will not be allowed to develop the capability to use nuclear weapons to intimidate and possibly attack other countries.”

As to the concern of Omaha officials about a last-minute gun amendment added to a bill in the Legislature:

The Omaha officials are absolutely justified in expressing concern.  Adding the amendment on the floor of the Legislature, without a chance for committee hearing and at which Omaha officials could have expressed their views, is legislative irresponsibility at its worst.

Gun is A Gun, Whether Concealed Or Not

At issue is the question of whether persons with permits to carry concealed handguns should be required to register those guns with city officials—as other handguns are required to be registered—once they have passed the criminal background check and gun proficiency requirements, and a program administered by the State Patrol, been issued a state permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A floor amendment offered by Senator Mark Christensen of Imperial followed a ruling from Attorney General John Bruning’s office that Omaha is violating a year-old law designed to free concealed-weapon permit owners from also filing for Omaha permits.  The amendment, apparently, intended to put Omaha officials in their place, was adopted by a 40-2 vote.

In the name of common sense, with an epidemic of handgun shootings, woundings and killings in Omaha, why loosen requirements for local registration of all handguns, whether they are to be carried concealed or not?  Can all the holders of concealed-weapon permits—an astounding 2,105 of them in Douglas County—give iron-clad assurance that their handguns will never be lost or stolen and thus become just another handgun available for adding to the handgun carnage in Omaha?

As to the judgmental headline in regard to the Omaha School District’s decision to modestly increase class sizes to make up for a loss of federal stimulus funds the next school year: 

The only specific example cited in support of the “OPS pupils may learn 3 more is a crowd” headline was an expression of concern from one mother who was quoted as saying she “can’t imagine” three more children in class with her daughter. 

Not all classrooms will be at a 30-pupil limit, and limits will be significantly lower in east Omaha schools where educational challenges are the greatest.  OPS Superintendent John Mackiel said research shows that classes as large as 30 students in the upper elementary grades—4th, 5th and 6th—remain educationally sound, especially in schools where poverty and mobility affect few students.

* * *

Nebraska Legislators Should At Least Understand
The Abortion Law They Are Trying To Bypass

Advice for a majority of Nebraska legislators:  Consider again a United States Supreme Court decree known as Roe v. Wade. 

Not that it will dampen your determination to show how anti-abortion you are, but you ought to be familiar with the requirements of the law you are trying to circumvent.

  The Roe v. Wade decision sets limits on a state’s authority to restrict a woman’s right to have an abortion.  But that hasn’t deterred anti-abortion activists and their legislative allies from seeking to find ways around the law of the land, as laid down by Roe v. Wade 37 years ago.

Now the Nebraska Legislature appears to be on the way to passing a bill proposing restrictions which one opponent described as so “extreme” that they appear to be aimed at keeping doctors from providing abortions, effectively nullifying Roe v. Wade.  The bill’s introducer, Sen. Cap Dierks of Ewing, said he would not object to that outcome, although he was just hoping the legislation “makes it safe for the patient.” 

The bill—advanced through its first floor test by a 34-7 vote—would require assessment of a woman seeking an abortion to see whether she was feeling pressured to have an abortion.  She also would have to be evaluated for any physical, psychological, emotional, demographic or situational risk factor that could cause mental or physical complications.  (That’s right, “demographic” factors would have to be considered, whatever that means.)

If the abortion provider failed to fully assess and inform a woman of her risk factors, she could sue for wrongful death.  (That’s death of a fetus that could not yet survive outside the womb, you understand.)  The bill would provide a legal presumption that she would not have had an abortion if the doctor had followed the law. 

Roe v. Wade to the contrary notwithstanding, Senator Dierk’s bill has company in the Nebraska Legislature in the category of anti-abortionists’ efforts to pass new restrictive legislation which, if it survives the almost inevitable legal challenges, would be pointed to as setting a new, restrictive national standard as an example for other states where anti-abortionists have decisive influence in the legislature.

The other bill designed to break new restrictive ground was introduced by Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood.  It proposes that after a fetus reaches 20 weeks, abortions would be legal only in cases necessary to save a woman’s life or to “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

The bill has been given the supposedly appealing—to anti-abortionists, at least—Abortion Pain Prevention Act.  Flood’s bill flies in the face of considerable expert opinion that a fetus does not begin to feel pain until viability at about 24 weeks.

In either case, litigation is assured if successful efforts are made in Nebraska to pass and try to enforce either of these new restrictive bills—litigation that could well go all the way through the federal court system.

* * *

‘Mother’ No Longer An Appealing Name?

What ever happened to motherhood?  Has it been replaced by “momhood”?

I raise the question—tongue only half in cheek—because of the increasing frequency with which I encounter “mom” used as a substitute for “mother” by journalists, especially when they seem to be trying to present the woman or women in question in a sympathetic light.  Some journalists do that, you know, with increasing frequency, in what are supposed to be news stories, not sympathy stories.  The rule used to be to present the facts and let the reader decide for himself whether he wanted to feel sympathetic about the subject.

This subject brings to mind the time when a friend asked Marian what I had done for her for Mother’s Day.  Marian replied that she hadn’t expected me to do anything (I hadn’t).

“I’m not his mother,” said Marian.

# # #

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